corv Reuters Corvis to buy Focal Comm. for $101 in stock Monday March 8, 9:39 am ET PHILADELPHIA, March 8 (Reuters) - Corvis Corp., which provides high-speed communications networking services and equipment, said on Monday it agreed to acquire Focal Communications Corp. for $101 million in stock in a move to expand its geographic reach and cut operating expenses. ADVERTISEMENT Columbia, Maryland-based Corvis (NasdaqNM:CORV - News), whose shares rose more than 8 percent, said the deal would give it more customers and revenues without straining its balance sheet. Focal provides voice and data services to about 4,000 businesses, telecommunications carriers and Internet service providers. It operates in 23 markets and has its own local fiber-optic network in nine cities, allowing Corvis to cut its operating expenses by reducing the amount of network-capacity it must lease from other carriers. Under terms of the deal, Corvis said, it would acquire Focal for $101 million in stock, and the assumption or payment of $109 million of existing debt and other long-term capital lease obligations. Focal expects to report annual revenues of about $320 million for fiscal 2003. Shares of Corvis gained 17 cents, or 8.8 percent, to $2.10 in morning trading on the Nasdaq market.